This I Believe

Stacey - Kettering, Ohio
Entered on December 15, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe that it is never too late to build bridges or mend fences when it comes to family. My beliefs are grounded by three specific instances with my own family, which have proven to me without a doubt that you can ALWAYS go home.

My biological father had been absent for most of my life when I decided to seek him out and establish a relationship with him. I did not expect anything given past history, but what I found allowed me to make peace with the past and provided me with a wonderful, loving relationship that I cherish to this day.

Growing up, I was always at odds with my parents, and after becoming pregnant at 19, our relationship only worsened. Although we saw each other frequently, there were very few truly happy times, and I never felt connected to them. In recent years, events transpired that enabled us to put the past behind and recognize the importance of family. My mom is now my best friend and I have found a mentor in my adoptive father.

As parents, we become so busy we overlook things, often missing the significant lessons our children have to teach us. My son taught me just such a lesson several years ago after contracting meningitis. For twenty-four hours, he fought for his life, and it would be several very longs days before I would be certain he was truly all right. Prior to his illness, I had essentially taken being a parent for granted; failing to realize it is an amazing gift. It was in this darkest time that I realized how fortunate I was to have my son in my life. My child, albeit unknowingly, had given me the greatest gift of all, allowing me to become his mother.

When I look back on all these events in my life, I am convinced that I am not only blessed, but also extraordinarily fortunate. For anyone who believes it is too late to fix the past, I am living proof that there is always time, even in the last possible moments of life, to go home again.